The winless Impact have Marco Di Vaio back, but will it be enough to earn points off a surging Union side?
It may be too early in the season to declare the Impact dead, but the team's 0-3-0 start to 2014 is not exactly how it wanted to get the new campaign underway after flaming out in spectacular fashion in last year's playoffs.
The fallout from Montreal's final match of 2013, a 3-0 postseason loss at Houston, was felt at the beginning of this season as Di Vaio and midfielder Andres Romero each served three-game suspensions as a result of their involvement in a late-game skirmish. It's no coincidence that the Impact have looked lifeless in front of goal so far without 20-goal man Di Vaio, but the Italian is set to return this weekend and his team is hoping that his presence will spark some new ideas in the final third.
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Standing in front of Di Vaio and the struggling Impact is a resurgent Philadelphia Union side that has collected four points from its opening three games. The Union return home after a disappointing 2-1 loss at Columbus last week, and the revamped midfield featuring Maurice Edu, Victor Nogueira and Cristian Maidana will be looking to gain dominance in the center of the pitch against Montreal.
Edu and Brian Carroll, in particular, will be tasked with starving Di Vaio of service. If the Union can deny Montreal's star striker from the kind of service that he's used to from the likes of Patrice Bernier, Justin Mapp and Felipe, it may be a long afternoon at PPL Park for the visitors.